FRANKFURT -- Daimler said it would book a $780 million windfall from selling its 4 percent stake in electric car maker Tesla Motors.
A cooperation agreement to supply Mercedes-Benz cars with Tesla battery technology will remain unaffected by the sale, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement. on Tuesday
"Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued," Zetsche said.
The sale of Daimler's stake in Tesla will result in a cash inflow of around $780 million, boosting earnings before interest and taxes by a similar amount for 2014. Proceeds from the sale will be used to strengthen Daimler's operations, the company said.
"We are extremely satisfied with the development of our investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation. For this reason, we have decided to divest of our shares," Daimler CFO Bodo Uebber said in a statement.
Work on Mercedes electric-drive cars has been completed, and the company said it will continue buying powertrain components from Tesla.
Tesla is supplying electric motors and batteries to Daimler for its Smart ForTwo electric vehicle and the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Vehicle. The B-Class Electric Drive went on sale in the U.S. in the summer and will launch in Europe next month.
Richard Hilgert, an analyst with Morningstar, said Daimler does not need to be a Tesla stakeholder to acquire any technology from the company since Elon Musk made the technology public for anybody to use.
Musk, Tesla's co-founder and chief executive officer, in June pledged to make the company's inventions in electric cars and batteries free for anyone to use "in good faith," a move that indicated he was positioning the company for a more open relationship with the global auto industry than the projects it's had with investors Daimler and Toyota Motor Corp.
The Daimler and Toyota investments came at a critical time for then-private Tesla, giving the upstart needed capital and revenue after a cash crisis. Those relationships have since evolved.
While Toyota still owns a 2.4 percent stake, it's no longer buying components from Tesla and is instead embracing fuel cells, a technology that Musk ridicules. The ties began to unravel as sales of the co-developed RAV4 electric vehicle wind down.
Tesla agreed with Toyota to "put things on hold and circle back maybe in a year or two," Musk said June 3 at Tesla's annual shareholder meeting.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.